How to get and stay fit on one to two days of exercise a week!

February 14, 2017

New research shows “weekend warrior” exercisers achieve desired healthy, happy benefits!

For the past twenty-years, health care specialists and physicians have fervently promoted the mantra that everyone should exercise most days of the week to achieve health and happiness. I must admit, I count myself among those touting that dogma, and while exercising 5 to 6 days a week may indeed be the gold standard, breaking research recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine throws some water on that dogma!

For many, this comes as great news. Between getting the kids to school and soccer practice, commuting to work and meeting performance standards, its not always possible to fit exercise into the weekly grind.

So listen to this! Researchers in the United Kingdom studied the health behaviors of over 63,000 individuals between 1994 and 2012 using rigorously validated health surveys. They aimed to discover if 1 to 2 days of exercise totaling 150 minutes of moderate exercise on weekends conferred similar health benefits to those exercising 150 minutes at similar intensities spread out over 3 to 5 days per week.

Here is what they found:

Persons categorized as “weekend warriors” (75 minutes of vigorous activity 1 to 2 days per weekend or 150 minutes of moderate activity 1 to 2 days per weekend) had similar health outcomes for all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality as persons categorized as “regular exercisers” (75 minutes of vigorous activity 3 or more sessions per week or 150 minutes of moderate activity 3 or more sessions per week).

What’s the bottom line: if you are a regular exerciser, but the hectic week just concluded broke your 3 to 5 day routine, you can make it up on the week end to achieve your exercise goals, or for those who just can’t exercise due to the bump and grind of the week, you can meet recommended health goals by adopting the routine of a “weekend warrior” and be no worse off for it when it comes to all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality!

Now that is great news, isn’t it!

To understand moderate versus vigorous activity to guide your exercise requirements, Google: CDC General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity or click this link:

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! hoping this message helps power your path to happiness!


O’Donovan, G., 2017. Association of “Weekend Warrior” and other leisure time physical activity patterns with risks for all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality. Online [Available at]: [Accessed February 10, 2017].